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NEWS & VIEWS

 

Dr Noel Q King is no more

Sikh world is saddened by the passing away of a great Sikh scholar Dr. Noel Q. King (12-9-22 to 2-1-09). He was a professor emeritus of history and comparative religion at University of California at Santa Cruz.

Noel was an Anglo-Indian, born in Rawalpindi in 1922, educated in Simla, Oxford , and Nottingham . He served in the British Army during the second world war, mostly dropping air supplies over Burma , then went to St. Peter's in Oxford to study history and theology. After his D. Phil and ordination, he was hired by first Ghana and then Uganda , to help set up departments of religious studies in the new universities of Accra and Makerere. He came to the new University of California campus in Santa Cruz in 1967, with the same purpose.

Noel taught at UCSC until his retirement in 1991, in religious studies and history. The Noel Q. King Lecture was established after King's retirement in 1992 to honor the popular teacher and respected scholar. King was instrumental in providing foundation courses and a comparative framework for those interested in religious studies major as well as those students who just wanted to learn about religion in an academic setting. This annual lecture is presented by the Committee for the Advancement of Religious Studies at UCSC and the Santa Cruz Hillel Foundation.

Sikh world has known Dr. King for his scholarly contributions for many years. He travelled to Pakistan, India and many other places to collect data for his publications on Sikhism. Further he made presentations on Sikh topics at many conferences and seminars. More than once he was a visiting scholar at the Guru Nanak University in Amritsar and Punjabi University in Patiala. In 1995, the World Sikh Convention bestowed upon him an honor in the form of Siropa. His commitment to Sikhee and the Sikh world was from the deep of his heart and unquestionable.

He is survived by his wife, Laurie; six children scattered from Santa Cruz to England and Australia ; eleven grandchildren; and 4 great-grandchildren. He is also remembered by the generations of students around the world whose lives he touched.

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